Scheduled to Open By Thursday, Sept. 1
* Project Dedication Planned for Thursday, Sept. 7 *
Springfield, Greene County -- The new lanes of Route 65 through Springfield -- which are making Route 65 a 6-lane highway -- are scheduled to be gradually opened to traffic beginning overnight and continuing into Thursday, Sept. 1, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
Crews will add new striping along the 7-1/2-mile long stretch of highway between I-44 and Route 60.
As the new striping is painted on the pavement, the orange cones will be removed and the new lanes closest to the median barrier wall will be opened to traffic.
This will be the first six-lane highway in southern Missouri.
(A three-lane section of southbound Route 65 between Sunshine Street and Route 60 has been open since mid-April.)
To celebrate the completion of the partnership project between the city of Springfield, Greene County and MoDOT, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. The event will take place facing U.S. 65 in front of Corporate Business Systems, 3348 E. Cherry Street -- just south of the intersection of Cherry Street and Ingram Mill Road in Springfield.
Six-Laning Project Details
* Adding a lane in each direction in the median, with a 7-foot wide median shoulder and a concrete barrier separating the northbound and southbound sides.
(Large trucks weighing more than 48,000 pounds are not allowed to use the new lanes closest to the median, except in emergency situations. This is a state law.)
* Replacing two Route 65 bridges over the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks south of Chestnut Expressway and re-decking the two Route 65 bridges over the BNSF tracks north of Division Street.
* Repairing an uplift in the pavement on both sides of Route 65 just south of Kearney Street.
* Installing emergency reference markers. It's part of a plan to put up markers, similar to those in use along the interstate highways in the state, along Route 65 between the Missouri-Arkansas line and Springfield (and eventually Buffalo).
The prime contractor is Emery Sapp and Sons, Columbia.
MoDOT is partnering with the City of Springfield and Greene County on the $27 million project. MoDOT is providing $23.3 million, which includes American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (federal "economic stimulus") and Amendment 3 funds. Springfield is putting in $2 million in 1/8-cent transportation sales tax money into the project. Greene County is using $1.7 million in ARRA funds.
The six-laning project was expanded and accelerated after the economic stimulus funds became available in early 2009 and with the participation of Springfield and Greene County.
In a companion project, sound-reducing walls (sound walls) are being built in five locations along Route 65 between Route 60 and Cherry Street. The sound wall project is scheduled for completion in May 2012. The sound walls are being built for a low bid amount of $4 million, with Archer, Western Contractors of Illinois the prime contractor.
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